After a long span of 13 years after its inception, the Indian fashion e-commerce giant Myntra has made its way into mainstream news for a controversy which, one thinks, was completely avoidable. This controversy has led the company to change its widely known and recognized logo. This decision was taken by Myntra after a police complaint was filed against its logo terming it as ‘offensive for women’. The most pertinent question which arises out of this incident is whether anyone of us ever found the logo to be offensive or vulgar in any way even after looking at it at regular intervals.
Back in December 2020, one Naaz Patel, who is associated with an NGO called ‘Avesta Foundation’, had lodged a complaint with the Mumbai Cyber Police labelling the Myntra logo as ‘offensive’ and ‘insulting’ towards women! Since then, Patel has expressed her dissent against the logo time and again. She took to various social media platforms to let others know about her viewpoint regarding the same. The NGO had also talked about its displeasure by calling the logo ‘abusive’.
After the complaint was filed, the DCP of the cyber-crime department of Mumbai, Rashmi Karandikar stated that the cyber-crime police actually found the logo to be offensive in nature towards women, after which they sent an email to the company following which the company officials went to meet them. The officials assured the police that they will change the logo within a period of a month. Naaz Patel had not only demanded the removal of the logo of the flipkart-owned company but also sought legal action against the firm. On the other hand, Myntra sent an email to the cyber police categorically stating the fact that it will not only redesign the logo for its website but will do the needful for its app along with its packaging material as well. It becomes a testimony to the swift action of the firm’s officials that Myntra has already issued printing orders for its new packaging material.
Right after this controversy started doing rounds across different social media platforms, Myntra and its logo became the top trends. And for people across social media, this news and Myntra’s decision to change its logo became a matter fit to crack jokes and create memes about and this helped the netizens having a good laugh.
Keeping this controversy in mind, one is forced to ask whether this could be termed as ‘feminism’ which, in simple terms means ‘advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality between the sexes’.
Yes, it is undoubtedly true that all the sexes are equal in stature and should be treated similarly and feminism is exactly what is required for emancipation of females across the globe. But a food for thought is, whether the Myntra logo actually was offensive or did it really attack the notion of all the sexes being equal to each other. Or did it actually aim at snatching away women’s rights in any way! Why could not anyone else across India see what Patel and her NGO saw? Are they the only ‘feminists’ out there? Or is everyone else supporting ‘patriarchy’ and male dominance in society?
Feminism is good but is it necessary or even required to look at everything with a specific mindset and make anything and everything just about feminism? What if men come across a logo which they find to be abusive or gender biased? Will the society or any NGO raise its voice for those dissenting males just the way they did against this particular icon? Would we witness a similar brouhaha under those circumstances? After all, this is what feminism preaches, ‘EQUALITY’! This is yet another question to be contemplated about.
Don’t you think a similar kind of mentality and approach led to circumstances which made citizens and Bollywood celebrities come together and tom-tom-“ Roses are red, violets are blue. Let’s smash the patriarchy, me and you’, when the prime accused in the death case of Sushant Singh Rajput, Rhea Chakraborty was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau when she was found guilty of consuming and peddling drugs? The woman was proved to have committed serious crimes, considering her own confessions regarding the same. But the society claimed that she was attacked by a male dominated society and fell prey to patriarchy and political propaganda because she was a woman! It is required that one fact be clarified; she is a criminal before she is a woman and jurisprudence does not consider ‘feminism’ whilst announcing verdicts.
Some readers may opine that the issue is being stretched and does not need much of their time and attention. But, many times, such trivial looking issues create deep rooted and adverse consequences for the society overall.
This is the mentality which paves way for females to play the ‘woman’ card even after they abuse and assault men and then easily get away and manage to avoid troubles for them. When a woman hits a man and he hits her back, this is the ideology which makes women shout, “Hey! You cannot hit a woman”. And when the male exclaims, “You hit me first!” the woman wastes no time labelling the man as a ‘coward’ or an ‘oppressor’.
For a healthy society and equality among the sexes in a real sense, feminism needs to exist and to be promoted without being toxic. And this will surely not happen if we continue to look out for clandestine oppression highlighted through a company logo; feminism is surely much more than that. Feminism is welcome, TOXIC FEMINISM is not!